Adolf: 1945 & All That Remains - Osamu Tezuka

This was the last of the six books in the Adolf series, wrapping up with the end of World War II, the death of Hitler, and a final conflict between Adolf Kamil and Adolf Kauffman. Although there are some factual and historical errors throughout his story, Tezuka's overarching message still comes across: that "race" is a tricky thing; something which has more to do with ideology than blood. He captures well Kauffman's descent into madness, stirred by jealousy and a desire to be a "true Aryan." In the midst of all of this is Sohei Toge, a Japanese reporter caught up in the stories of the three Adolfs.
The story was intriguing and kept me in suspense until the end. And even though it was fiction, I still felt that I learned a little about World War II—timelines of the war were provided at the ends of some of the chapters for reference. The introductions to each volume were also helpful in understanding the comics. For somebody not used to Japanese comics, the combination of realistic images with cartoony figures can seem jarring, but the story itself has true depth.
My only wish is that they had kept the cartoon in its original right-to-left format. Instead, they flipped the entire book around, and then painstakingly reversed swastikas and other symbols where necessary. Unfortunately, people often still saluted and shook hands with their left hands, and I think somehow the flow of the book would have been better without such jerry-rigging.

Fed to jonathan's brain | September 06, 2003